How to Beat the Heat at Your Favorite Theme Park This Summer
If you've ever visited a theme park in the middle of summer, you know it can be a unique kind of misery. You're outside all day, walking a ton, and probably not drinking as much water as you should be (don't try to deny it). This year, instead of suffering through it, we've got a few suggestions that'll keep you cool as a cucumber.
Sadly, we can't do anything about the weather, but when it feels like the surface of the sun on your next theme-park trip, these 15 tips will help you beat the heat so you can ride more, eat more, and play more.
Make Reservations For a Sit-Down Meal
Dining in a sit-down restaurant guarantees you at least an hour or so in the much-needed cool air conditioning. Not to mention a chance to rest your feet, rehydrate, and refuel for the rest of your adventures. Be sure to plan ahead, because table-service restaurants tend to book up well in advance, especially if there are character meet-and-greets involved.
Pack Lots of Sunscreen
A quick layer of sunscreen in the morning isn't going to cut it. When you visit a theme park during the summer, you spend a lot of time outside in the sun, and a painful sunburn is a major vacation setback (not to mention the health risks). Pack more sunscreen than you think you need so you can apply it in the morning and then again throughout the day. Your skin will thank you.
Cool Off With a Frosty Treat
One of the best things about theme parks is that you're never more than a hop, skip, and a jump away from an ice-cream stand. Combat those steamy summer temperatures with a frosty treat, but be sure to eat it quickly before it melts!
Don't Forget Your (Cheap) Sunnies
Rumor has it you are less likely to lose expensive sunglasses, but a theme park is not the place to test that theory. While you definitely need sunglasses, it's also easy to forget them on a ride. Leave the designer frames at home, and opt for a more affordable pair like these Women's High Point Squared Half Rim Look Cat Eye Sunglasses ($10).
Take a Midday Break in Your Hotel Room
If you are staying on park property or nearby, schedule in a midday break in your hotel room. Afternoon is the busiest time of day at most theme parks, so it's a good time to take a nap or just relax in front of the TV while you mentally prepare to return in the evening when the weather is cooler and the crowds dissipate.
BYOW (Bring Your Own Water)
There are plenty of spots inside a theme park to find water (some even hand out free ice water if you ask nicely), but it's more convenient to bring your own. This Mickey Mouse Repeatables Roll-Up Water Bottle ($23) is reusable and portable, so it's easy to bring with you around the park.
Visit an Indoor Show
Just like your local movie theater, a theme park's indoor shows are dark, cool, and comfortable. When the heat becomes unbearable, step into a theme-park theater for a relaxing and entertaining indoor show.
Don a Hat
Natural shade can be hard to come by at a theme park, especially when you're standing in an hour-long outdoor queue waiting for your favorite roller coaster. When you wear a hat, you can take your own shade with your everywhere you go. This Walt Disney World Bucket Hat For Adults ($35) looks adorable and keeps the sun off your face.
Wear Light Clothing
Breathable and comfortable are the name of the game when it comes to theme-park outfits. It's also one of those "the less clothing, the better" situations. Because dark clothing absorbs more heat than light clothing, you'll want to avoid dark colors if you can.
Bring a Sun-Protection Shirt
Sun shirts have built-in sun protection — like this one that blocks 98 percent of UV radiation — that blocks the sun's harmful rays. Even this long-sleeved Coolibar UPF 50+ Women's Heyday Side Split Shirt ($49) is lightweight enough to keep you cool on a hot summer day.
Visit a Water Park
Don't overlook the water park when you're planning a theme-park vacation. Most have a well-balanced mix of relaxing and thrilling attractions and lots of, you know, water. You can spend a full morning at the water park and still have all afternoon and evening to ride coasters and meet costumed characters.
Cool Off in a Water Play Area
The fact that most water play areas are intended for kids is just a technicality. At a theme park, you get to be a kid, too! When you're hot and sweaty, head straight for the nearest splash pad or water playground to cool off.
Get Soaked on a Water Ride
Most theme parks have a ride or two that are designed to get you completely soaked. You have to give up on your hair and makeup looking anything like they did when you started the day, but the splash down at the end of the ride is worth it.